O’Dell, Giles – Zoonbats Chapter 1
So this should be a fun experiment, at least for me. Giles is returning to the world of Zoonbats for the first time in ages; I reviewed the first couple of issues of his series around 2010. Odd, I thought I had reviewed more of them, as I had at least half a dozen issues. Anyway! He rereleased the whole thing in new editions, the first covering issues #1-4, with three additional volumes out so far. Since I already reviewed half of this edition back in the day, I figured it would be interesting to review it again, then read my old review just to see if my opinions remained the same/just how often I repeat myself. My guess is that it’s plenty, but I’ll reveal the answer at the end. So! This new edition does look gorgeous. Giles has extensive notes in the back explaining the changes he’s made and what brought him back (mostly the lettering and he never really gave up on the story, respectively), and while he says he hasn’t touched up the art, I’d swear it looks even better this time around. This is the story of Wayne, who’s hitchhiking around the country, and his friends Toast and Bloom. They made a robot giraffe that fled as soon as they completed it, and it seems to have a specific destination in mind. So they make plans to meet up with Wayne in the middle, as he’s closer to where the giraffe is headed. This issue covers Wayne wandering for a bit before finally meeting up with an old friend who can offer him a ride. This old friend then tells Wayne a story of his time as a truck driver detailing when he was attacked by a roving gang of bandits, how all seemed lost and how he got out of it by spoilers. Yeah, it’s a big part of the overall story, so it’s going to be left a mystery here. We also briefly check in with Toast and Bloom on their journey, but they don’t intersect with Wayne yet. This issue is mostly about doing some work building up this world (Giles has a map of the areas and he gets pretty specific in the notes about what each area is like), and as such does a solid job of hooking readers in to try and figure out what’s happening here. So yeah, I’d say it’s an intriguing start and I’m curious what happens next. Now let’s check the old reviews! Looks like the review for #1 is way earlier than I thought, maybe even 2002ish, as I mentioned working on the website for “several months.” Then the review for the second issue was 2010, apparently done when I was revisiting old comics for reviews. The art is exactly the same (I compared an old sample image to the new book in front of me), so I was wrong on that. And he was telling the truth, which I had no reason to doubt. So I look like a dummy in real time. Not exactly a new experience for me. But I liked it overall then too, so that hasn’t changed. One odd thing: I can’t find anywhere that sells these new editions. You can go to his website and read each issue online for free, so there’s that, but if you want physical copies I guess check with Giles. Which makes the price an absolute mystery, so I’ll spin the random price wheel… $15.